Christmas Videos

 

I have searched the Amazon library for the best Christmas videos, so you don't have to. You can check out at our recommended list of  Christmas Videos or take the following link to Amazon's total collection of Christmas Videos. Alternatively, you can get up to date with the latest Best Sellers list at  Top 100 videos
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Recommended Videos

 

"One Magic Christmas"  

Grab an econo-pack of tissues, gather your loved ones around a cozy television, and bring on the hot cocoa--it's time for a dose of Christmas spirit. The tender and charming Mary Steenburgen (Parenthood) dons a sour disposition in her role as Ginny Grainger, a woman who finds little joy in life lately--let alone in the impending holiday season. Money is tight, her husband (beautifully downplayed by nice-guy Gary Basaraba) lost his job, and the family must move out of their house. Ginny cannot even bring herself to say, "Merry Christmas," despite her family's enthusiasm about the big day. With help from Ginny's brave and loving daughter (sweetly performed by Elisabeth Harnois) and a Christmas angel named Gideon (Harry Dean Stanton), Ginny undergoes a life-altering experience la It's a Wonderful Life. The result? Happy endings, hugs and kisses, pass the tissues.

Not a light holiday entertainer by any means, the plot verges on depressing at times, as the family struggles through money issues and the tedium of daily suburban survival. While handled fairly subtly, some of the bridging story--including a shooting, a kidnapping, and a drowning--might prove disturbing to children under 6 years old. And really: if the somber Harry Dean Stanton (Paris, Texas) repeatedly appeared in your neighborhood, cloaked in a cowboy hat and overcoat, would you allow your kids outside? Still, a well-made favorite to cherish. --Liane Thomas

 

"Simpsons Christmas Special"   

It's Christmas at the Simpsons' household but no one is jolly. Homer doesn't have the heart to tell Marge that Scroogey boss Mr. Burns isn't giving out Christmas bonuses this year. Marge, on the other hand, is counting on the bonus because she's spent all the Christmas money getting a tattoo removed from Bart's arm. So Homer has to go to work as a department-store Santa. An early episode with less sophisticated humor and animation, it still offers a number of laughs, plus the story of where the Simpsons got their dog, Santa's Little Helper. --Marshall Fine

 

"A Christmas Story"  

A Christmas Story is on its way to becoming an annual holiday classic, one to keep on the shelf with It's a Wonderful Life, the puppet-animated Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and A Charlie Brown Christmas. It may have been directed by Bob Clark (responsible for the Porky's pictures), but it's based on the childhood memoirs of humorist Jean Shepherd (from his hilarious book In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash). And it is Shepherd's wry, deadly accurate, and gently nostalgic comic sensibility that shines through in this kid's-eye view of an all-American Christmas in the 1940s. All little Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) wants under the tree on Christmas morning is a Daisy Brand Red-Ryder BB rifle. He not only wants it, he's consumed with an aching desire for it. Unfortunately, his mother (Melinda Dillon) repeatedly crushes his dreams with the familiar, harsh mantra: "You'll shoot your eye out!" Among the movie's highlights are a surrealistic visit with little brother Randy to a department store Santa, and the childlike mixture of delight, pride, and awe with which Ralphie's dad (Darren McGavin) takes possession of a spectacularly gaudy prize he's won in a radio contest. McGavin should have won an award for his splendid comic work as a middle-aged-kid-turned-patriarch who alternates between grown-up temper tantrums and unabashed juvenile joy. --Jim Emerson

 

"Letterland Christmas Story"  

I don't usually like my son (2 yrs) to sit in front of the TV for a long time, but this video has been the exception. He is constantly enthralled by the characters and the stories. When it finishes he will run around singing the names of all the characters in alphabetical order. Just amazing and the books are also brilliant. Reviewer: Un-named person from Ireland.


"White Christmas"   

This semi-remake of Holiday Inn (the first movie in which Irving Berlin's perennial, Oscar-winning holiday anthem was featured) doesn't have much of a story, but what it does have is choice: Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, an all-Irving Berlin song score, classy direction by Hollywood vet Michael Curtiz (Casablanca, The Adventures of Robin Hood), VistaVision (the very first feature ever shot in that widescreen format), and ultrafestive Technicolor! Crosby and Kaye are song-and-dance men who hook up, romantically and professionally, with a "sister" act (Clooney and Vera-Ellen) to put on a Big Show to benefit the struggling ski-resort lodge run by the beloved old retired general (Dean Jagger) of their WWII Army outfit. Crosby is cool, Clooney is warm, Kaye is goofy, and Vera-Ellen is leggy. Songs include: "Sisters" (Crosby and Kaye do their own drag version, too), "Snow", "We'll Follow the Old Man", "Mandy", "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep" and more. Christmas would be unthinkable without White Christmas. Reviewer : Jim Emerson  

 

"Tom and Jerry's Night Before Christmas"   

This video was only released in 1993, but no one has got around to doing an independent review for us, as yet. But, absolutely everybody knows Tom and Jerry and it's fair to say that they never let you down in terms of action, amusement and outstanding entertainment value. 

 


"A Christmas Carol" 

In the same year that he directed a handsome version of The Scarlet Pimpernel for television, Clive Donner also made this worthy 1984 small-screen production of the Dickens tale. George C. Scott can't quite muster a decent English accent, but he does bring some new colors to this movie's interpretation of Scrooge, making the character less nasty for the sake of nastiness and more a product of a life of lovelessness. The supporting cast is first-rate, and the production is far more handsome than most TV fare. --Tom Keogh

 

"Disney Princess a Christmas of "  

We don't have an independent review for this title because it won't be  released until November 1, 2005. But you can order it now and Amazon will ship it to you when it arrives into stock..

 


"Nightmare Before Christmas"  

For those who never thought Disney would release a film in which Santa Claus is kidnapped and tortured, well, here it is! The full title is Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, which should give you an idea of the tone of this stop-action animated musical/fantasy/horror/comedy. It is based on characters created by Burton, the former Disney animator best known as the director of Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and the first two Batman movies. His benignly scary-funny sensibility dominates the story of Halloweentown resident Jack Skellington (voice by Danny Elfman, who also wrote the songs), who stumbles on a bizarre and fascinating alternative universe called ... Christmastown! Directed by Henry Selick (who later made the delightful James and the Giant Peach), this PG-rated picture has a reassuringly light touch. As Roger Ebert noted in his review, "some of the Halloween creatures might be a tad scary for smaller children, but this is the kind of movie older kids will eat up; it has the kind of offbeat, subversive energy that tells them wonderful things are likely to happen." --Jim Emerson

"It's A Wonderful Life"   

Now perhaps the most beloved American film, It's a Wonderful Life was largely forgotten for years, due to a copyright quirk. Only in the late 1970s did it find its audience through repeated TV showings. Frank Capra's masterwork deserves its status as a feelgood communal event, but it is also one of the most fascinating films in the American cinema, a multilayered work of Dickensian density. George Bailey (played superbly by James Stewart) grows up in the small town of Bedford Falls, dreaming dreams of adventure and travel, but circumstances conspire to keep him enslaved to his home turf. Frustrated by his life, and haunted by an impending scandal, George prepares to commit suicide on Christmas Eve. A heavenly messenger (Henry Travers) arrives to show him a vision: what the world would have been like if George had never been born. The sequence is a vivid depiction of the American Dream gone bad, and probably the wildest thing Capra ever shot (the director's optimistic vision may have darkened during his experiences making military films in World War Two). Capra's triumph is to acknowledge the difficulties and disappointments of life, while affirming--in the teary-eyed final reel--his cherished values of friendship and individual achievement. It's a Wonderful Life was not a big hit on its initial release, and it won no Oscars (Capra and Stewart were nominated); but it continues to weave a special magic. --Robert Horton

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"Miracle On 34th Street"  

How can words describe one third of this films goodness? It is a remake of the classic film but with brilliant actors such as Richard Attenborough as Kris Kringle. When Dorey Walker (Elizabeth Perkins) hires a seemingly insignificant elderly gentleman (Kris Kringle) to be their Cole's Santa she has no idea of the success it would bring Cole's. Just as every thing in life is peachy, Cole's rivals decide to discredit Santa by framing him. When it goes to court to decide weather Kris Kringle is a nut case as he believes he is Santa it is up to the judge to decide if Santa Clause is real, Challenging all that is good and pure about Christmas. It's time to ask your-self "Do you believe in Santa?"
Reviewer: An un-named person from Wales in the U.K.

 

"The Snowman"  

This charming British animated short film is based on the classic children's book by Raymond Briggs and crafted with a colored-pencils-on-paper look, like fluffy, hand-drawn illustrations. Small children should be entranced by the story of a small boy in rural England whose lovingly constructed snowman comes to life and takes him flying over the white-blanketed landscapes, in a beautiful sequence based on live-action flying footage. Part of the charm of the film is the gentle, everyday quality of its fantasy adventures: the snowman is invited in to try on clothes and play with the Christmas decorations, then plays host to the boy at a party in the woods, at which his snowy relatives do English country dances. This is one of the very few Christmas tapes on the market that really deserves to be a holiday perennial, a gentle fable of friendship and the power of imagination. Reviewed by David Chute

"Blackadder's Christmas Carol"   

Dicken's classic tale of kindness, truth and virtue completely mucked up and ruined by having a member of the Blackadder family involved. Also Baldrick, of course, the man you can rely onto turn a Christmas dinner into a dog's dinner, as long as the dog isn't particularly fussy.
Stuffed with deeply horrid people and groaning with cartloads of seasonal bottom jokes, it manages to squeeze in not only a Victorian Blackadder but also his famous Elizabethan, Regency and Space Age relatives into a huge pie of entertainment that will satisfy all but the most discriminating viewers.

 

"National Lampoons Christmas Vacation"  

You know exactly what you're getting in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation: another goofball, slapstick comedy of chaos and catastrophe with Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) and family. This time, there's no traveling involved: Clark and Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo) prepare for a nice Christmas with the kids (played by none other than Juliette Lewis and Roseanne star Johnny Galecki), when their home is invaded by backwoods cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) and his brood, along with assorted other crazy and/or stuffy relatives. Complications, of course, are inevitable. The film is preceded by National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) and National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985) and followed by National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation (1997). Directed by Jeremiah Chechik, who went on to do Benny & Joon and the Sharon Stone remake of Diabolique. --Jim Emerson

 

"Bob The Builder's White Christmas"   

Bob the Builder's infectiously optimistic battle cry ("Can we fix it? Yes, we can!") rings truer than ever in a very busy Yuletide in the delightful Bob's White Christmas. Already committed to play Santa Claus at a children's party, Bob finds that Christmas Eve gets a lot more complicated when freezing temperatures and a blanket of snow arrive. Suddenly, Bob and his crew--Wendy, Scoop, Dizzy, and the others--get an SOS from a snowbound Farmer Pickles, help Spud the scarecrow identify a mysterious "snow monster," and save some stranded critters. There's still time, fortunately, for snowball fights and gift exchanges, but the best part of this holiday is the camaraderie between a great bunch of friends. Keen characterizations and a happy, fluid animation style make Bob the Builder one of the best children's TV programs around. If anything, this Christmas special has even more of the show's vitality and good cheer. Reviewed by Tom Keogh.


"The Muppet Christmas Carol"  

Brian Henson directs his late father's creations in the Charles Dickens classic, the best known (and most oft-filmed) Christmas story of all time. Michael Caine plays the old miser Scrooge with Kermit as his long-suffering but ever-hopeful employee Bob Cratchit, Miss Piggy as Cratchit's wife, and a host of Muppets (including the Great Gonzo as an unlikely Charles Dickens) taking other primary roles in this bright, playful adaptation of the somber tale. At least it starts brightly enough. The anarchic humor soon settles into mirthful memories and a sense of melancholy as the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future take Scrooge on a journey of his lonely, wasted life. Michael Caine makes a wonderful Scrooge, delightfully rediscovering the meaning of life as fantastic creations from Henson's Creature Shop (developed specially for this film) take the reins as the three ghosts. While the odd mix of offbeat humor and somber drama undercuts the power of Dickens's drama, this kid-friendly retelling makes an excellent family drama that adults and children alike can enjoy. Reviewed by Sean Axmaker.

"How The Grinch Stole Christmas"   

To heck with the kids--this is one of the best Christmas presents you can give yourself. Adapted from the children's book by Dr Seuss, this charming story is one to watch every holiday season. It is just edgy enough to help you forget the more cloying aspects of Christmas. It is also sweet enough to remind you of the reason for all that holiday cheer. Animation genius Chuck Jones directed this 1966 television production featuring the voice of Boris Karloff as the mean greenie. Bitter and selfish, the Grinch decides to steal Christmas away from the Whos, sweet little folk at the bottom of his mountain that is his home. When little Cindy Loo Who returns his hateful act with kindness, she melts the old miser's heart. There are many reasons to watch this: inventive wordplay, Karloff's impressive narration and a very memorable soundtrack. Reviewed by Rochelle O'Gorman

"Bear In The Big Blue House"  

The friendly home-owning grizzly and his pals celebrate the traditions of a secular Christmas but pay more than a passing nod to both Hanukkah and Kwanzaa in this 50-minute holiday video. Agenda items include a gift exchange and a visit to Santa Hog at the mall, but everything is put in perspective when the household discovers a homeless hound bellowing outside their door. They invite him in, share the holiday, find him a home, and learn a valuable lesson. Meanwhile, "Shadow" shows up to sing about the other two holidays in accompaniment to shadow cutouts. The bear, twin otters, lemur, mouse, and little bear were created by the Jim Henson folks.. The earnest Bear is kin to another outsized softie of a (purple) predator; and both are strictly for the kiddies. Ages 2 to 7. Reviewed by Kimberly Heinrichs.

 

 

 

 

 

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